Meet your Judges!
Like most entertainers who have reached stardom, Jana Jae’s success is the result of hard work perfecting raw talent.
Musical talent runs through the family. Her parents studied at the famed Julliard School of Music, New York City, and Jana was introduced to the classical study of the violin, on a 1/8 sized instrument, at the age of two. Then, thanks to the direction and inspiration of her grandfather, an accomplished champion fiddler in his own right, Jana also learned to love playing by ear. She virtually grew up jamming with and learning from some of the best in the business while living in western Idaho, not far from Weiser, the site of the National Old-time Fiddlers’ Contest. Soon she had honed her skill of fiddling into a fine art and won the Ladies National Championship several times.
She taught music for several years until she felt inspired to take her unique blend of music on the road. Jana and her trademark blue fiddle soon took the world of country music by storm. She got her big break at a Buck Owens concert in Redding, California, when she was invited to take the stage and play "Orange Blossom Special." Buck was one of the first "big names" to recognize her talents and offered her a job as the first female member of his "Buckaroos" band. She later became part of the regular team of performers on the "Hee Haw" show and has appeared with such country music greats as Chet Atkins, Roy Clark, Ray Stevens, The Oakridge Boys, Mel Tillis, Ricky Skaggs and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
Jana has built a solid solo career, drawing upon her diverse musical background. Her one-of-a-kind style blends country fiddling, western swing, bluegrass, pop and the classics, producing thrilling performances and critical acclaim.
Jana is a consummate performer and despite her petite 5’ 3 1/2" size is a powerful whirlwind on stage. Her pure, clear voice, showmanship, down-home friendly sense of humor and natural communication with any audience combine for a dynamite concert. Her special talents have enriched us all in the world of music.
In addition to the honors listed below Jana has recently been teamed with Acoustic Freight Train Instrument Donation and Woody Guthrie Center to collect violins to give to aspiring students of all ages.
You can also get more information about Jana's recent activities on her web site http://www.janajae.com
- National Western Swing Hall of Fame
- Idaho Hall of Fame
- Mid-America Fiddlers Hall of Fame
- Oklahoma Governor’s Arts Award
- Signature Symphony Champion Award
- Who’s Who in America
- Who’s Who of American Women
- Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame
- National Fiddlers Hall of Fame
Jana Jae Enterprises
Shelby Eicher was born in Wauseon, Ohio on April 8, 1960. Shelby’s grandmother, Alicejean Smith, was the musical driving force in his family. She played the piano and there were always music get-togethers at the house or dances to play. Alicejean had 5 uncles that were fiddlers and she thought it was time for another. Shelby received a violin for his 5th birthday.
At age 8, a violin teacher was located and Shelby had his first lesson January 9, 1969. Shortly after he started performing with his grandmother at the Longfellows Club, Kiwanis Club and country music shows around Northwestern Ohio and Southern Michigan. A few years later Shelby’s dad, Joe, began to play the bass fiddle and his mom, Caroline, took up the mandolin and they formed Shelby Eicher and the Fulton County Sandsifters.
After attending college at the Hank Thompson School of Country Music in Claremore, Oklahoma, Shelby moved to Nashville. Within a month he was hired by Grand Ole Opry star Jimmie C. Newman to play Cajun fiddle. Soon Shelby was touring with Mel McDaniel during Mel's Louisiana Saturday Night fame. Good fortune led to a contract with Hee Haw star Roy Clark. The next fifteen years would yield multiple appearances on the Tonight Show, Merv Griffin, Nashville Now, Crook and Chase, New Country and the Grand Ole Opry, plus ten seasons of Hee Haw and a full concert touring schedule. While being a member of Roy’s band, Shelby became interested in jazz which is one of the many genres he performs today. He married vocalist Janet Rutland and they have three sons Nathan, Paul and Isaac who are also accomplished musicians.
In 1996 Shelby left the road to be home with his family. Studio work has included a Spongebob Squarepants episode, a Sony PlayStation game – Dukes of Hazzard, a PBS special - Cowboys in Tall Grass, and albums with Roy D. Mercer, Hank Thompson, the Tractors, Cow Bop, J. J. Cale, Cherokee Maidens and the Tulsa Playboys featuring Vince Gill, Wanda Jackson, Riders in the Sky and others. Shelby is a clinician for Tulsa's Artists-in-the-Schools and has produced several independent CDs. In 2004 Shelby became a founding member of the National Fiddler Hall Of Fame and served many years as Education Director.
Shelby is the leader of the Tulsa Playboys and tours with the Cherokee Maidens. He and his son Nathan host Eicher Wednesday weekly at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.
Rick Morton is a fiddler and fiddle teacher from Tulsa. He also loves playing acoustic guitar and mandolin. He played in the Ronnie Dunn band that won the 1988 Marlboro national talent round up In Nashville. In 1994 Rick played with the multi platinum group, the tractors. His love for fiddling different styles keeps him busy enjoying country, bluegrass and contest tunes. He is honored to judge the Oklahoma fiddle championship.